• Sunday, June 23, 2024

CRICKET

Kolkata take on Hyderabad for a spot in final

Hyderabad finished second after a four-wicket win over Punjab on Sunday. Kolkata topped the table, setting up the clash in Ahmedabad.

Sunrisers Hyderabad captain Cummins was bought for £1.97 million at auction, but Kolkata Knight Riders paid £2.35 million for fast bowler Starc. (Photo: Getty Images)

By: Vivek Mishra

The two highest-priced players in the IPL, Australia’s Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc, will face off on Tuesday for a spot in the final as the Twenty20 league enters the playoffs.

Sunrisers Hyderabad captain Cummins was bought for £1.97 million at auction, but Kolkata Knight Riders paid £2.35 million for fast bowler Starc.

Hyderabad finished second after a four-wicket win over Punjab Kings on Sunday. Kolkata topped the table, setting up the clash at the world’s biggest cricket stadium in Ahmedabad. The winners will reach Sunday’s final.

The losers will have another chance on Friday against either the third-placed Rajasthan Royals or Royal Challengers Bengaluru, who finished fourth and will play in an eliminator on Wednesday.

The final will be followed by the T20 World Cup in the West Indies and the United States. Cummins led Australia to the 50-over World Cup win last year, beating India in the final at Ahmedabad.

“We’ve had a lot of fun and played some really great cricket,” Cummins said about his team, which twice broke the IPL scoring record this season with innings of 277 and 287. “It’s satisfying and exciting to be in the play-offs. A few of these guys haven’t played in (IPL) finals before — I haven’t played in finals before.”

Kolkata have been the team to beat, with 20 points from 14 matches, and were the first of the 10 IPL teams to clinch a playoff place. They hit 272-7 against Delhi Capitals this season, the third highest innings in IPL history behind Hyderabad’s two huge totals.

Starc started quietly but began to justify his price tag with match-winning figures of 3-38 against Lucknow Super Giants last month. He then took 4-33 against Mumbai Indians earlier this month, getting into form ahead of the World Cup. He has taken 12 wickets in 12 matches but has an economy rate of more than 11 per over on the batting-friendly pitches.

Cummins has 15 wickets in 13 games, with his captaincy standing out as key to Hyderabad winning eight out of 14 matches. His lower-order batting has also been useful, with a highest score of 35 not out.

Cummins has fellow Australian Travis Head for company in Hyderabad. Head has scored 533 runs, with a century and four fifties, to stand third in the batting chart led by Bengaluru’s Virat Kohli on 708.

Kohli and Bengaluru reached the playoffs after beating Chennai Super Kings in a dramatic final league match to keep their hopes alive for a first IPL title.

(AFP)

Related Stories

Videos

Mrunal Thakur on Dhamaka, experience of working with Kartik Aaryan,…
Nushrratt Bharuccha on Chhorii, pressure of comparison with Lapachhapi, upcoming…
Abhimanyu Dassani on Meenakshi Sundareshwar, how his mom Bhagyashree reacted…